The NFL Draft is almost upon us, and the Chicago Bears already made the splash of the draft trading the first pick in the draft to the Carolina Panthers. But Ryan Poles and the Bears are not done!
I can’t say I’ve done a ton of mock drafts in the past, but it certainly seems to be the trendy thing to do, so let’s give it a shot. We are going with the predictive mock draft and not the “what I think the teams should do” mock draft.
You’ll see the Bears trade down twice in this scenario. This draft is the “Ryan Poles trades down, but the player he wants is gone by the time he’s on the clock” mock draft. Do I think this is the way things definitely play out for Chicago? Not necessarily but I just don’t think I could read another Bears mock draft with Jalen Carter, Paris Johnson or Peter Skoronski being mocked to Chicago. So without further adieu, I present my 2023 mock draft for your criticism.
1. Carolina Panthers: Bryce Young, Alabama QB
The Panthers made the big move up with the Bears so they take the best QB in the draft.
2. Houston Texans: Will Anderson, Alabama Edge
The Texans are a wild card here, they need a QB, but are they Young or bust early on? Other rumors have them liking Will Levis or Tyree Wilson, but they do the smart move in the end and take the best prospect in the draft.
3. Tennessee Titans: CJ Stroud, Ohio State QB
The Titans make the big move and decide to come up and grab CJ Stroud at 3. They send 41 and their 2024 first round pick figuring they need to move ahead of Indy to be safe.
4. Indianapolis Colts: Will Levis, Kentucky QB
Chris Ballard plays it conservatively and stands pat and ends up with Levis. If Levis pans out, Ballard has a job for another decade, but if Levis falls flat, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ballard is out after 2024.
5. Seattle Seahawks: Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech Edge
Plenty of people think Jalen Carter will be the selection here, but Pete Carroll decides he’s going off the edge with Wilson. Carroll is in his 70s and doesn’t want headaches if he can avoid them, Wilson is the choice.
6. Detroit Lions: Jalen Carter, Georgia DT
The Lions can’t let Carter fall any further. They decide to scoop up the controversial prospect. The idea of Carter and Aidan Hutchinson on the same defensive front is not something Bears fans should want to see for Justin Fields.
7. Las Vegas Raiders: Anthony Richardson, Florida QB
The Raiders let Derek Carr walk, and to this point, all they’ve done is brought in Jimmy Garoppolo. You can’t pivot off your long-time QB and just bring in a lesser QB to replace him. Jimmy G is the perfect guy to mentor a QB that could use a year or two of seasoning before he starts.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Nolan Smith, Georgia Edge
The Falcons need a pass rush, and they go with Smith who many draft experts mock much later in the first but plenty of NFL teams like him. Smith has a lot of attributes that NFL teams love and the Falcons decide to beef up their pass rush with the Georgia edge.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers: Paris Johnson, Ohio State T
With all four offensive linemen still on the board, Ryan Poles decides he’s going to make the big move and drop down to 17. The Steelers desperately need a tackle, and they love Johnson and decide to make the move to get their guy. Poles also sends the Steelers the 61st pick and in return, the Steelers send Chicago the 17th pick, the 32nd pick and the 80th pick.
10. Philadelphia Eagles: Peter Skoronski, Northwestern OL
Howie Roseman wins again with this pick. He can’t believe his luck. The best linemen on the board is still available. The Eagles take Skoronski and immediately start him at guard and have the succession plan in place when Lane Johnson retires, Skoronski will bump out to tackle.
11. Arizona Cardinals: Devon Witherspoon, Illinois CB
If the Cardinals remained at three, perhaps they would have taken Paris Johnson, but they might have taken Witherspoon as well, and they love the fact that the top corner in the draft is still sitting here. They run the card up to the podium.
12. Houston Texans: Bijan Robinson, Texas RB
The Texans made the draft interesting when they punted on QB with the second pick. They may have traded up if a QB was still sitting at nine, but with four QBs off the board, they decide to take the top player on their board, and that’s the dynamic running back from Texas.
13. Green Bay Packers: Dalton Kincaid, Utah TE
It’s a new era in Green Bay, and with Jordan Love starting this year, the Packers want to do as much as they can to make him comfortable. They think Kincaid has the ability to be a playmaker and a safety-blanket in their offense. They take the guy that they think can help the Love immediately.
14. New England Patriots: Christian Gonzalez, Oregon CB
Bill Belichick loves defense and loves the idea of Gonzalez in his defense. Many mock draft had Gonzalez as a slam dunk top ten pick but he goes on a mini-slide, and the Patriots are thrilled he’s still sitting there at 14.
15. New York Jets: Broderick Jones, Georgia T
The Jets are starting a 40-year old quarterback this year now that the trade is finalized, so they want to make sure he has as much beef in front of him as possible. With Johnson off the board, the Jets take their next favorite tackle and land Jones.
16. Washington Commanders: Darnell Wright, Tennessee T
The Commanders blow up Ryan Poles’ plan and select the big right tackle out of Tennessee. Poles had the name on the card and was ready to run it to the podium but the Commanders decide to strengthen their offensive line and throw a wrench of the Bears’ grand plan.
17. New York Giants: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State WR
The Giants need more weapons for Daniel Jones to throw to and when the top 4 OL come off the board, the Giants give the Bears a call and sure enough, the Bears are in business. The Giants trade the Bears the 25th pick and the 57th pick and the Bears return to New York is the 17th pick and the 133rd pick.
18. Detroit Lions: Joey Porter, Jr, Penn State CB
The Lions give themselves a huge boost drafting the long defensive back from Penn State and give two massive pieces to their defense with Carter and Porter and the Lions show everyone why they should be the betting favorites in the NFC North.
19. Tampa Bay Bucaneers: O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida G
Tampa is in a weird spot with Tom Brady on the golf course. They have too much talent at other positions to tank but they also have no quarterback to compete. When you are stuck in purgatory, take the best guy left in the trenches and the Bucs go Torrence.
20. Seattle Seahawks: Zay Flowers, Boston College WR
After giving the defense a boost with their first pick, the Seahawks want to boost their offense. With Geno in place, they want to give him a dynamic weapon in Flowers that could be a scary combo with DK Metcalf.
21. Los Angeles Chargers: Michael Mayer, Notre Dame TE
The Chargers need to retool their offense and Mayer is a great place to start. Mayer is an NFL-ready tight end that shouldn’t have too many growing pains in his first year. He gives Herbert a nice weapon but can also help out in other facets of the offense.
22. Baltimore Ravens: Jordan Addison, USC WR
One day, the Ravens hope to get something right at wide receiver. They take another swing with Addison and hope that Lamar Jackson is pleased with Odell Beckham and Addison added to the offense.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Deonte Banks, Maryland CB
The Vikings need help plenty of places but mostly on defense so they take the Maryland corner in hopes to strength a secondary that could use a fresh face.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Brian Branch, Alabama DB
The Jaguars are on the upswing with Trevor Lawrence. They love the idea of adding the versatile Branch to their secondary thinking he could be a Minkah Fitzpatrick for them and give them an interesting weapon in their secondary.
25. Chicago Bears: Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh DT
Things didn’t quite work out for Ryan Poles in terms of landing the offensive tackle he wanted, but he loves that Kancey is still on the board here and Matt Eberflus does a backflip in the war room. Flus gets his 3-tech and Poles knows he still has some good opportunities in round 2 to strength the rest of his roster.
26. Dallas Cowboys: Emmanuel Forbes, Misissippi St CB
The Cowboys could go plenty of different directions here but they decide to go a key position and grab a corner they think can really give them a quality corner in a division where they know they need to beat the Eagles and their incredible weapons at wide receiver.
27. Buffalo Bills: Lukas Van Ness, Iowa Edge
The Bills are in great shape here as they simply take Van Ness who many thought was a borderline top ten pick. They grab Van Ness as a tremendous value and know that they can continue to be a dominant force in the AFC with another great talent on their defense.
28. Cincinnati Bengals: Darnell Washington, Georgia TE
The Bengals almost go offensive line here but they love the abilities of Washington and know that they hare going to have a tough time keeping all of Joe Burrow’s weapons around over the next few years. With Tee Higgins potentially not being a long-term piece, they bring in another target for Burrow for years to come.
29. Houston Texans: Hendon Hooker, Tennessee QB
The Texans finally grab a QB, making a trade with the New Orleans Saints and sending them the 104th pick to move up a few spots and grab Hooker. They get the 5th year option with Hooker which is critical because he won’t be able to see much of the field during his rookie year.
30. Philadelphia Eagles: Myles Murphy, Clemson Edge
Roseman continues to play chess while the rest of the NFL plays checkers. After grabbing Skoronski, they add to their defense that lost several pieces this offseason and get themselves a big boost to their pass rush.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Quentin Johnson, TCU WR
Patrick Mahomes likes weapons and Johnson with the last pick of the first round is a great steal for Andy Reid’s squad. Mahomes will utilize him immediately.
So after some moving and shaking, in rounds two through four, the Chicago Bears have picks 32, 53, 57, 64, 80 and 103. Let’s play out the next 6 picks for the Bears.
32. Chicago Bears: Anton Harrison, Oklahoma T
Poles doesn’t wait any longer for a tackle. Plenty of teams call the Bears Friday afternoon to see if the Bears are willing to trade down, but after trading down twice in the first round, Poles is pleased Harrison is still on the board and he finally grabs his tackle.
53. Chicago Bears: Derick Hall, Auburn Edge
Some experts felt Hall could go in the first round, but he takes a bit of a slide and Poles is thrilled to grab him here at 53. With Kancey already boosting the defensive line, Poles does a really nice job adding another player who could potentially start this year.
57: Chicago Bears: Julius Brents, Kansas St CB
Despite the secondary being one of the stronger positional units on the Bears’ roster, they still need another corner, especially with the future of Jaylon Johnson up in the air after this season. The Bears grab some secondary insurance and pick up Brents who will compete to start in year one.
64: Chicago Bears: Zach Charbonnet, UCLA RB
If Luke Getsy wants to run the ball, then Luke Getsy gets to run the ball. With a strong run-blocking offensive line and the weapon that is Justin Fields, the Bears grab Charbonnet to give themselves an incredible stable of backs with the rookie, D’Onta Foreman and Khalil Herbert.
80: Chicago Bears: Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State
Ryan Poles loves Cole Kmet, but he can’t believe his luck that Kraft is still on the board here. This is a deep tight end class and Kraft, despite being from a small school, has all the tools to succeed at this level. Bears fans Adam Shaheen flashbacks, but Kraft is a far better prospect and won’t let fans down.
103: Chicago Bears: Juice Scruggs, Penn State C
Poles has done a great job so far, but he hadn’t addressed the interior offensive line yet, but he doesn’t wait any longer with Juice Scruggs still on the board. Scruggs is a great fit for the Bears’ scheme and could potentially compete for a starting spot in 2023, if not, he should be starting at center for Chicago by 2024.
What do you think about this haul Bears fans? Sound off in the comments below!